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Pakistani Supreme Court judge's residence attacked

Sheetal Sukhija - Monday 16th April, 2018

LAHORE, Pakistan - The house of a Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan, who was part of a five-member bench that last July disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from his job suffered an attack by an unidentified gunman.

The provincial government spokesman said that the gunman shot at a Pakistani Supreme Court judge's residence but that no one was injured in the shooting.

Provincial government spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan said “bullet shells were found outside the residence," of Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan in the central city of Lahore.

Authorities said that no suspect has been named for the shooting.

Meanwhile, commenting on the incident, Opposition leader Imran Khan, who was central to starting legal proceedings against Sharif, suggested there may have been a political motive for the shooting.

Without presenting any evidence, Khan said that the shooting could have been aimed to "pressurize" the judiciary. 

He said in a statement, “Strongly condemn the firing at Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan's house. These Sicilian-mafia-like tactics to pressurize senior judiciary are unacceptable in any democracy.”

Sharif was barred from politics by the Supreme Court in July over an undeclared source of income.

Further, in a ruling on Friday, he was barred from holding office for life. 

After his removal from office in July, the Supreme Court ordered proceedings for Sharif at an accountability court, that could have him jailed if found guilty.

Sharif and his family have argued that the proceedings are a conspiracy, and have hinted at intervention by the military but opponents hail them as a rare example of powerful people being held to account. 

After the shooting on Sunday, the Supreme Court Bar Association threatened to go on strike.

However, Pakistan's Chief Justice Saqib Nisar asked for a protest to be called off for the sake of litigants with cases fixed for Monday. 

Now, officials have said that the Punjab government, which is headed by Sharif's brother Shahbaz, has beefed up the security around the judge's residence.

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